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Terence Winch
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Lawrence---thanks for your take on the poem.
Tom---thanks for the comment.
A little masterpiece.
Thanks for commenting, Karen.
Thanks, Chris. May all your dreams come true.
Yes, he does! Thanks for the comment, mon ami.
A stark, mysterious poem.
_______________________________________________________________ On Election Day I hear democracy weep, on election day. The streets are filled with brokered promise, on election day. The miscreant’s vote the same as saint’s, on election day. The dead unleash their fury, on election day. My brother crushed in sorrow, on election day. The sister does her washing, on election day. Slowly, I approach the voices dark, on election day. The men prepare for dying, on election day. The morning hush defends its brood, on election day. So still, so kindly faltering, on election day. On election day, the cats take tea with the marmoset. On election day, the mother refuses her milk. On election day, the frogs croak so fiercely you would think that Mars had fallen into Earth. On election day, the iron man meets her frozen gasp. The air is putrid, red, interpolating, quixotic, torpid, vulnerable, on election day. Your eyes slide, on election day. Still the mourners mourn, the weepers wept, the children sleep alone in bed, on election day. No doubt a comet came to see me, fiery and irreconciled, torrid, strummed, on election day. On election day, the trespass of the fatuous alarm and ignominious aspiration fells the golden leap to girdled crest. The tyrant becomes prince, on election day. Neither friend nor foe, fear nor fate, on election day. The liar lies with the lamb, on election day. The last shall be the first and first sent to the back of the line, on election day. The beggar made a king, on election day. “Let him who is without my poems be assassinated!” on election day. Let he who has not sinned, let him sin, on election day. The ghosts wear suits, on election day. On election day, sulfur smells like beer. On election day, the minister quakes in fear. On election day, the Pole and the Jew dance the foxtrot. On election day, the shoe does not fit the foot, the bullet misfires in its pistol, the hungry waiter reels before steadying himself on facts. The grid does not gird the fiddler, on election day. Galoshes and tears, on election day. The sperm cannot find the egg, on election day. The drum beat becomes bird song, on election day. I feel like a nightmare is ending but can’t wake up, on election day. (November 4, 2008) ________________________________________________________________________________________ Charles Bernstein is the author of Near/Miss and Pitch of Poetry. ROOF recently published The Course, a collaboration with Ted Greenwald. University of New Mexico Press has published a facsimile reprint L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine, a volume of related letters, as well as the late 1970s collaboration Legend. He lives in Brooklyn. [For more information on, and poems by, Charles Bernstein, see the Poetry Foundation.] __________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Best American Poetry
Thanks, Booby. Good to have your thoughts added to this post.
Thanks for the comment, Jerry.
You're welcome, Maureen. Glad you liked it.
I'm happy you liked it, Eileen Reich.
Thank you, mo chara is fearr. I knew you'd like this poem.
Yes, that is so true. Thanks for you comment, Evelyn.
Thanks for the comment, Grace. Sandra is a fierce talent.
Thank you, Prof. Berger. I think you hit the target with that comment.
Thanks, David. I completely agree.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________ Vocation For six months I dealt Baccarat in a casino. For six months I played Brahms in a mall. For six months I arranged museum dioramas; my hands were too small for the Paleolithic and when they reassigned me to lichens, I quit. I type ninety-one words per minute, all of them Help. Yes, I speak Dewey Decimal. I speak Russian, Latin, a smattering of Tlingit. I can balance seven dinner plates on my arm. All I want to do is sit on a veranda while a hard rain falls around me. I'll file your 1099s. I'll make love to strangers of your choice. I'll do whatever you want, as long as I can do it on that veranda. If it calls you, it's your calling, right? Once I asked a broker what he loved about his job, and he said Making a killing. Once I asked a serial killer what made him get up in the morning, and he said The people. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Sandra Beasley is the author of Made to Explode (forthcoming February 2021); Count the Waves; I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize; and Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir. She also edited Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. She lives in Washington, D.C. ["Vocation" is from I Was the Jukebox: Poems. Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Beasley.] ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
Burl Ives is also very inspirational---
Wonderful poem, as was so much of his work. I read "Eating Poetry" in the late '70s (I think)and was thereafter a fan of his writing. I envy your getting to know him.
Thanks, Michael. You could be describing yourself.
I agree--that would be great to hear. I have no idea what recordings of Ahmos's might be out there.
I agree--that would be great to hear. I have no idea what recordings of Ahmos's might be out there.
Thanks, Beth. I remember how much you liked him and his writing.